OVAM stands for Openbare Afvalstoffenmaatschappij voor het Vlaams Gewest (Public Waste Agency of Flanders) and is responsible for waste management and soil remediation in Flanders. It is a public Flemish Institution, established after the decree of July 2nd, 1981 covering waste management and prevention. Waste removal and soil remediation were included as well. In 1995, Flanders got a more specific legislation on soil remediation : the soil remediation decree. The Flemish Minister of Environment is responsible for waste management in Flanders. Ovam works out and implements its policy. The soil remediation decree provides the Flemish government with a powerful instrument to fight historical as well as recent soil pollution. One of its objectives is to remediate historical soil pollution within a period of 40 years. The soil remediation decree equally offers a range of possibilities to prevent new soil pollution or to remediate right away. The Flemish Region is responsible for environmental policy. The competent minister can count on a number of institutions for the preparation and implementation of that policy. OVAM is one of those institutions. Under the slogan, ‘Better Regulation Policy’, the Flemish Government has outlined a course to adapt relations between the government, citizens and companies to the modern-day challenges. This resulted in a first management agreement for OVAM for the period 2008-2010.


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